Harry Maguire: Why Man United star was not sent off for crunch tackle on Fulham's Sasa Lukic

Harry Maguire: Why Man United star was not sent off for crunch tackle on Fulham's Sasa Lukic

Rene Otinga
updated at February 24, 2024 at 5:20 PM
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  • Harry Maguire started for Manchester United against Fulham
  • The defender was lucky to still be on the pitch after a reckless tackle
  • Maguire scored a crucial equaliser for his side in the 88th minute

Football fans all said the same thing after Harry Maguire somehow avoided a red card after a reckless challenge on a Fulham player on Saturday, February 24.

The Red Devils welcomed Marco Silva to Old Trafford as they looked to make it five Premier League wins in a row for the first time under Erik ten Hag.

Harry Maguire made a late tackle on Fulham's Sasa Lukic.
Harry Maguire of Manchester United clashes with Sasa Lukic during Manchester United vs Fulham FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2024 in Manchester, England. Photo by Clive Brunskill..
Source: Getty Images

Despite the two teams cancelling each other out in the first half, there was one major talking point in the 37th minute involving Maguire and Fulham’s Sasa Lukic.

The £80m man attempted to win the ball, but ended up clambering into Lukic’s ankle, with referee Michael Oliver issuing a yellow card.

Fans online were, however adamant that Maguire should have been sent off for apparent ‘dangerous play.

Here are some reactions on social media:

@gareth227:

"Easily straight red. Lancashire refs to the rescue as always."

@Oscar_Tees:

"If he wasn’t English he would’ve been - that’s the real issue "

@OluwadaraTolu:

"This is a Red card offence A similar one happened in the last game of Leverkusen It was a straight Red, from VAR"

@FarunaOjodale:

"That's why I always tell people that English referee are two Bias when it comes to officiating, I bet you if it's Chelsea now VAR will review it then the next thing is red card."

What does the law say?

According to The FA.com, a player is sent off and shown a red card if he is found guilty of serious foul play.

An example of serious foul play is when a player tackles an opponent with both legs or a goalkeeper trips a player that is about to score, with both incidents warranting a red card.

By definition, serious foul play entails a player using excessive force or brutality against an opponent to challenge for the ball.

On this occasion, Maguire did not necessarily use excessive force and was mostly guilty of challenging for the ball late at the expense of Lukic’s ankle.

Maguire scores but United lose

Maguire’s staying on the pitch ended up being a blessing for United, as the defender cancelled out Calvin Bassey’s 65th-minutehalf strike to make it 1-1 in the 89th minute.

There was still time for late drama, however, as Fulham grabbed a winner in the seventh minute of added time through Alex Iwobi’s fine finish after some good work from substitute Adama Traore.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.